Bachelor Nation
'The Bachelorette's Hayden Markowitz addressed backlash after insulting Gabby Windey.

Hayden Addressed The Backlash After Calling Gabby “Rough Around The Edges”

But he didn’t exactly apologize.

ABC/Craig Sjodin, ABC/Ricky Middlesworth

Bachelor Nation is known for drama, but no one was prepared for the latest season of The Bachelorette. Having two Bachelorettes comes with its own set of challenges — like some contestants expressing their preference for one Bachelorette by shading the other. (I wish I was kidding.) During Episode 3, which aired July 25, Bachelorette contestant Hayden Markowitz explained that he was solely interested in Rachel Recchia by insulting Gabby Windey... to her face. For obvious reasons, Markowitz’s decision to call Windey “rough around the edges” was an unpopular one, and he addressed the backlash on Instagram.

ICYMI, during the episode’s group date, Markowitz sat down with Windey and not-so-eloquently revealed that he was only interested Recchia. “I looked at today and my own life and what my values line up with and, you know, I do have my intentions fully for Rachel,” he explained. “And I think you have the bubbly aspect to you, the goofy aspect, and you’re a little bit more — I don’t want to say rough around the edges — but you want people to be very direct with y’all, so I wanted to make sure that I express that to you.”

Markowitz’s words really struck a nerve with Windey who feared she wasn’t enough in comparison to Recchia. “Hayden tells me he feels his morals [are] more aligned with Rachel and being called ‘rough around the edges,’ like, definitely hurts,” she told the cameras. Luckily, it seems that Markowitz has learned the error of his ways... sorta.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Following a fair amount of backlash on social media, he addressed the critics with a July 25 IG post. “What a night, with so many emotions going on I have to say I have an overwhelming amount of respect for Gabby and Rachel,” he wrote. “Looking back I can definitely say I may not be the most eloquent with words at times but I aimed my heart in the direction of my intentions.”

OK, so at least Markowitz didn’t repeat the “rough around the edges” insult, but he didn’t really apologize, either. Fortunately, it seems like Windey is no longer upset by his comment.

While the episode aired, she took to her Instagram to post a reel of her popping champagne with Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” playing in the background. One user commented on the post, “If this is ‘rough around the edges’ then I WANNA BE IT.” Same.

The rest of Bachelor Nation also rallied around Windey after the episode. Recchia showed her support on Twitter, writing, “@GabrielaWindey the strongest woman I know. Could not be prouder of your courage and vulnerability.” She also was quick to point out that if there’s one thing the men have this season, it’s the audacity. “Not the boys acting like this is a fantasy football draft,” she added in her next tweet.

Nate Mitchell, one of Windey’s frontrunners also showed his support on Twitter, retweeting a post that read, “Nate to the boys when they downgrade Gabby #TheBachelorette #bachelorette” with some “I’m watching you” emojis attached.

While some of the men on The Bachelorette may not see how amazing Windey is, she has plenty of friends that are sticking behind her. “Rough around the edges,” who?